Saving Money

Efficiency

If your air conditioner is older, it may be costing you more money per month to operate. If you have a one time fix that brings the unit to current operating expectations, then repair is a good option. The governments standards on energy saving have caused dramatic changes in what fluids are now used (R44 Puron) and what fluids are being discontinued (R22A Freon).

Your unit should have a S.E.E.R. (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) rating of 14 for the best efficiency. A unit with a S.E.E.R rating of 10 would be paying more money for less efficiency, so a new unit in that situation could cut costs, or can at least give you more output for the money you are currently paying. There are also government incentives that you can ask about that might also be available for certain energy star products, which results in up to 60% in savings on your energy bill.

Ways to keep cool inside:

Cotton clothing: Try wearing cotton when it’s warm inside. The cotton pulls the moisture from your body and speads it evenly around the fabric, where it later evaporates. Cotton helps you to keep cool when the heat is unbearable and is a great alternative to synthetic fabrics that hold heat in.

Windows and Doors: if you are using an AC unit to cool your home, be sure to keep all the windows properly sealed. During the day, keep the doors closed in rooms that you are not using. Keep your curtains closed during the day to block sunlight from entering your house. If you use venetian blinds, angle them upward so light is not reflected into the room.

Cooking: avoid using your stove or oven because it will heat the cool air inside. Try to plan meals using the outdoor grill.

Internal Heat: avoid using incandescent lights when it’s warm out. Replace these with LED, CFL and CCFL lights. Be sure to leave other in-home appliances such as TV’s and other electronic devices off when you are not using them.

Stay downstairs: remember that warm air rises because it’s less dense, this pushes down the cold air to the lower levels making them cooler and more comfortable than upstairs.

Keep hydrated: remember to drink lots of water because when your body is properly hydrated it can lower its tempurature.

Ways to keep warm inside:

Windows and Doors: Keep all windows and doors in your home properly sealed when it’s cold outside, be sure leave them open when the outside tempurature is warmer than the inside. By keeping air circulation down, you will reduce heat loss and reduce the time it takes to warm the room again.

Heavy curtains: Use heavy curtains, especially in large rooms and around large windows.

Avoid use of open wood fireplace: with an open chimney, the fire will absorb the air from your home and blow out much of the heat, leaving the rest of the air cool. If you do use your fireplace, be sure the chimney has a ‘damper’ which is kept closed once the smoke stops – this will help keep any heat left from the fire inside. Gas fireplaces with covers or inserts are a good way to warm up your room because they do not suck out any air.

Cooking: plan on cooking meals in the evening on your stove or in the oven, this will provide additional warmth to anyone home and keep the downstairs warm long after you are done cooking.

Get together: having a family dinner, or watching a movie together during the evening is another great way to keep warm. The more bodies in a room the warmer the air. This doesn’t exclude pets so if you have a dog or cat keep them with you in the room your in for additional warmth.